Government Bytes


Harry Reid's Angry Rant Against Spending Restraint

by Brandon Greife / /

Out of touch. There is very little else you can say about Harry Reid and his latest rant against a common sense and popular approach to raising the debt ceiling. During a speech on the Senate floor Thursday afternoon he called the Cut, Cap and Balance bill “one of the worst pieces of legislation to ever be brought to the floor of the Senate.” Among some other choice adjectives, he went on to call it “weak,” “senseless,” and an “anathema.”

Just so we’re clear what made Harry Reid so furious, the Cut, Cap and Balance bill would make modest spending cuts next year, enact spending caps that would gradually reduce expenditures to historic levels, and pass a Balanced Budget Amendment. Exactly which of those three ideas is what set off the Reid temper tantrum? Is it that Harry Reid refuses to spend at historic levels (which, we may add would still run deficits)? Is it the idea of a Balanced Budget Amendment, which recent polls show two-thirds of Americans (including strong majorities of Democrats and independents support)?

He also said that the ‘bill was a waste of the Senate’s time’, a bold statement from a man who just last week spent days on a non-binding Sense of the Senate to say we should raise taxes on millionaires. He said that he ‘refuses to waste even one more day on this piece of legislation’ which, may be interesting if the Senate had ever spent a day actually debating it.

So what is Harry Reid so anxious to do? Perhaps he doesn’t have the time because he’s been super busy crafting his own plan to raise the debt limit, or at least reviewing the President’s plan.  Nah, it can’t be either of those since neither Reid nor the President has put forward a credible plan to raise the debt ceiling.  Maybe it’s his tireless work in putting together a budget? Considering they haven’t come up with one in more than 810 days, can’t be that either.  

It is time for Reid to stop bloviating and get down to legislating. As it stands there is only one plan out there that not only eliminates any immediate threat of a default by raising the debt limit, but also puts us on a path to permanently eliminate deficits – Cut, Cap and Balance. The very same idea that Reid has taken to calling the worst thing ever.

Rather than give this plan its due, Harry Reid decided to hide behind a cheap political trick called a “motion to table.” This sly procedural maneuver kills a bill without ever voting on it, or even voting to proceed to a vote. One has to wonder why, if it is the worst bill ever, Reid feels the need to hide. Is he scared of an honest debate? That, or he’s just scared to have his members vote on record against a plan that would avert fiscal catastrophe.

It is not Cut, Cap and Balance that is “weak” and senseless,” no, those adjectives seem to apply to Harry Reid’s leadership. Or should I say, lack thereof.